Pain Free Working

14 of the Best Office Workouts for Weight Loss

Sitting all day working can actually be a demanding activity that requires a lot of energy and effort. Because work takes not only energy but also time from us, by the end of the day, most of us don’t have the strength to power through a workout routine. This in turn leads to the development of a sedentary lifestyle that can be detrimental to our well-being. 

Fret not though, because there are still ways to be fit and live a healthy lifestyle even when you’re sitting at your desk. Incorporating simple office exercises throughout your day can help you burn calories and achieve your weight loss goals. Moreover, simple exercises can also increase your energy, boost your concentration, and make you feel refreshed, allowing you to be even more productive as you work on your tasks. Don’t believe us? Try out these office exercises and see the results for yourself! 

Is There a Way to Lose Weight While Sitting at Your Desk?

Weight gain, muscle soreness, neck pain, cardiovascular issues, diabetes, and the like are just some of the health issues that you may develop with too much sitting. Still, there are ways to combat these issues while sitting at your desk. One way is to do desk exercises. Taking exercise breaks at your desk can help you lose weight and stay fit in between your tasks. Incorporating simple chair exercises can also help keep sitting diseases at bay. 

Another thing that can help you lose weight while at your desk is to have a healthy diet. Instead of having oily food for lunch, it’s ideal to have nutritious foods to keep you full and energetic. You should also toss junk food aside and replace them with healthy snacks to fill your tank throughout the day. Low-fat cottage cheese, whole-grain crackers, sliced vegetables, yogurt, and such are much better than doughnuts, potato chips, and candy.

You can also lose weight in your workstation by changing a few things. Switch up your traditional office desk for a standing desk and adopt the sit-stand method of working. Alternating between sitting and standing reduces pressure on the body and promotes movement too. 

Aside from using a standing desk, you can also start sitting actively by adding small exercise equipment to your workstation, such as a desk bike. There are numerous under-desk bikes on the market that lets you pedal away and move your muscles without disturbing your co-workers. You can also use an exercise ball as an office chair instead of the usual swivel chair to allow you to practice good posture and also tone your abdominal muscles. 

These are just some of the few things that you can do to lose weight while sitting at your desk. If you can only manage to do one thing or if you’re in the position to do them all, you’ll surely achieve your weight loss goals as long as you’re consistent. 

Office Exercises to Stay in Shape

Having a desk job can tie you down to your desk every day, making it difficult to swing by the gym for a workout. Good thing that there are a ton of desk exercises that you can do to stay healthy even if you’re busy at work. Aside from your desk, chair, and a water bottle or two, you won’t need any other exercise equipment to do any of these. Try out the following exercises and see how they work out for you!

Palm Stretch

To perform this exercise, start by sitting straight in your chair, palms facing upward and stretched out ahead of you. Hold the top of your right palm with the help of your left hand and pull the fingers of your right hand inward. Hold for 30 seconds, and release. Repeat the same with your other arm. Repeat 5 to 6 times on each side.

Arm Circles

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, arms extended straight out to sides at shoulder height. Move your arms in a small backward circle. Do 20 times in this direction. Afterward, switch directions, and repeat.

Side Stretch

This simple neck exercise can help relieve stiffness in the body. For your starting position, sit up straight and keep your shoulders relaxed. Bend your head towards your left shoulder and hold the position for about 5 seconds, and then return to the original position. Next, bend your head toward your right shoulder and hold again for 5 seconds before returning to the initial position. This completes a single rep. Perform at least 6-8 reps consecutively in a day.

Shoulder Shrug

Work on relieving tension in your shoulders as well as strengthening your shoulder muscles with this exercise. Start by sitting on your chair with your neck and shoulders relaxed. Lift your shoulders towards your ear as much as you can. You should be able to feel a mild tension around your neck and shoulders. Hold for 5 seconds and then slowly drop. Repeat 6 to 8 times. For maximum effect, you can also combine this exercise with neck stretches.

Digestion Exercise

The faster the body processes and digests food, the better your chances of losing weight. This exercise will help reduce belly fat and make your stomach flatter as it stimulates peristalsis, the wave-like muscle contractions that move food through the digestive tract. To perform this, suck your stomach in as far as you can, and then stick it out as far as you can.

Inhale while sucking in your stomach, and exhale while pushing it out, stimulating blood flow to the stomach. Doing so works your stomach muscles and aids in digestion.

Leg Raise

This exercise works your leg muscles and will correlate over to your abs. To do this, keep your back flat against your chair while seated. Bring your left leg up and keep it straight and parallel to the floor. Put your left leg down, and then repeat the steps for your right leg. Do 20 to 30 times, alternating between opposite legs.

Leg Toning Exercise

You won’t need any kind of equipment for this bodyweight exercise. To do this, begin by sitting in your chair, and keeping your back in a straight line. Cross one leg over the other and raise them off the floor. While your legs are in the air, press your other leg down while simultaneously resisting the pressure with the help of your bottom leg. Do this until you feel tired. Switch legs, and repeat.

Double Knee Lift

This seated exercise will help you reduce weight gain around your belly. While seated, keep your legs straight and your feet on the floor. Place your hands on the sides of your chair and hold them tightly. Keep your back straight as you slowly lift your knees, pulling them close to your chest. You should be able to feel a mild tension in your stomach muscles. Gently lower your feet but avoid touching the floor. Repeat the steps and perform this exercise 10 to 20 times. 

Chair Squats

This simple exercise works multiple muscle groups, making it an effective way to strengthen the body. Start by sitting straight with your spine tall. Puff your chest out slightly and keep your body posture rigid. Next, lower yourself one inch from your chair, in a motion of sitting down. Hold the position for 10 seconds before moving to a standing position. Repeat multiple times over the course of the day.

You can also try a more challenging version of this exercise. Begin by pushing your chair back and standing a few inches in front of it, feet hip-width apart. Your backside should be facing the chair. Hold your arms straight in front of you, and then bend your knees and slowly lower yourself down, allowing your bottom to go back as if you’re about to sit down. Keep your weight on your heels. Once you feel the chair graze your backside, stand back up. Repeat as many times as you can. 

Seated Bicycle Crunches

Abdominal exercises like crunches can help tone your core. To do this, sit on your chair with your feet on the floor. Position your hands behind your head. Then, lift your right knee toward the opposite elbow, twisting your body down toward it. Return to starting position. Complete 15 twists and then repeat on the other side.

Sitting Abs Twist

This office exercise requires the use of a water bottle to help support the movement needed to be done. Begin by positioning yourself at the edge of your chair and keep your back straight. Hold the bottle in a horizontal manner with both your hands near your chest. Next, twist your upper body to the right as much as possible. Hold for 5 seconds, and then return to the original position. Repeat the same movement on your left side to round up one rep. Perform at least 5 to 6 reps in succession.

Lower-Abs Leg Lifts

This is a subtle exercise that you can do anytime. Sit straight with your feet flat on the floor. Lift one leg up at a time, keeping your core engaged. Do 20 reps. To make it more challenging, you can also try lifting both legs at the same time. 


Sit on your chair and extend your arms at shoulder level. Next, twist your body to the right, bending, and touching your left foot using your right hand. Go back to the original position. Repeat the steps for the right foot. Do this 20 to 30 times to burn fat around the hips and sides of the belly. 

Deep Breathing Exercise

Incorporating deep breathing exercises in your workout routines can help soothe your mind and relieve you of stress. Not to mention, they can also contribute to weight loss as they can tighten your stomach muscles. Sit comfortably with your knees bent and your upper body relaxed. Place one hand on your upper chest and your other hand just below your rib cage. 

Breathe in slowly through your nose so that your stomach moves out against your hand. The hand on your chest should remain as still as possible. Tighten your core so that your stomach moves back in as you exhale through pursed lips. The hand on your chest must remain still. Repeat as many times as you’d like. 

Final Note

Staying in shape is not a challenge anymore if you include these simple and easy-to-do exercises throughout your work day. The more your practice these exercises each day, the more you’ll see their positive impact on your body.

Tricia Montano

Tricia founded Pain Free Working in 2019 due to suffering from degenerative disc disease in her L5-S1 from working an office job for the past 18 years. She and her team strive on finding and reviewing the best office equipment to help fellow pain sufferers find relief and to enable people like her to do their jobs comfortably.